"Irgend etwas und irgend etwas": Husserl's Arithmetik and the poetics of epistemology

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This article makes the case for the importance of Husserl's prephenomenological Philosophie der Arithmetik in conceiving of Husserl's relevance to literary studies. Whereas this relevance has already been recognized as concerns the affinity between the method of the phenomenological epoche, on the one hand, and the space of fictionality, on the other, Husserl's earliest philosophical work on the psychological origins of arithmetic concepts has received less consideration in this connection. Suspending Husserl's own disavowal of his early work and its "psychologism", I argue-through close readings of passages from Die Philosophie der Arithmetik and "Der Ursprung der Geometrie"-that Husserl's reflections on the origin of the concept of multiplicity constitute an unwitting poetological statement that reflects not only the manner in which the early Husserl constructs the psychological foundations of mathematical knowledge but also, moreover, the way in which the later Husserl's phenomenology understands the historicity of geometry and science as such. Consequently, the Philosophie der Arithmetik offers a poetics of epistemology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPhenomenology to the Letter
Subtitle of host publicationHusserl and Literature
Publisherde Gruyter
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9783110654585
ISBN (Print)9783110648386
StatePublished - Nov 23 2020
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Arts and Humanities


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